Thursday, June 22, 2017

Notes from Your Farm: Blueberry Season

Hello from the Farm,   

Hours for Pick Up:
Thursday - 3:00pm till 7:00pm
Friday - 11:00am till 7:00pm
Saturday - 9:00am till 1:00pm 

Our Pick Your Own (PYO) options are growing!  This week we will be adding Blueberries to the PYO list.  Meaning this week our Snap Pea and Blueberry Season will be going on.  Probably should give yourself some extra time while picking up your veggies so you have time to harvest both PYO options.  Below is the information for both seasons.  

Blueberry Season
Our Blueberry Season will be starting this week (6/21) and will go until July 1.  The blueberry season might run three weeks but this depends on the weather and bird pressure.  In the blueberry patch you will see dark blue berries, blue berries with some red, and green berries.  The dark ones are the ripest, ones with red are almost ripe and will ripe on your counter at home, and the green berries should not be picked until they turn blue.  

The blueberry patch does have poison ivy running on the ground.  We have been working hard by keeping the poison ivy back by mowing and weed wacking but we still need to take precaution.  Shareholders and members of their families must wear sneakers/boots while harvesting blueberries or you run the risk of getting poison ivy.  We also prefer that you wear long pants.  Only walk through the grass pathways do not walk in between blueberry bushes.  At the sign in table we will have a bottle of Poison Ivy Preventative for you to apply to exposed skin (arms/legs/hands) to use before going into the blueberry patch.  Please be cautious about this while harvesting!  

We will have a season limit for blueberries, which means you can only harvest the given limit throughout the whole season.

Season Limit
Half Shares - 2 pints
Full Shares - 4 pints

You may harvest blueberries during pick up hours.  Below is a map that will show you where the blueberries are located on the farm.  Gumby Jr. is dancing in the blueberry patch to help guide you to the right spot.  At the distribution area we will have green pint baskets for you to use while harvesting blueberries.  Please return when you are done using them. 

Snap Pea Season
Our snap pea season started on June 15 and will go until June 24. We have five rows of snap peas this year that are filled with heavy plants. Meaning it is a jungle of snap peas!  

We do have mowed path ways for you to walk through but please watch your footing while harvesting.  You may move plants around to harvest under ones that are bent over but be careful not to break the plants.

The snap pea plants have fallen over from the high winds this past week. Just take extra caution while maneuvering through the path ways.  Also, there are green and yellow snap peas located in the field.

We will be doing a season limit for snap peas, which means you can only harvest the given limit throughout the whole season. 

Season Limit
Half Shares - 2 pints
Full Shares - 4 pints

You may only harvest snap peas during pick up hours.  Below is a map that shows where the snap peas are located on the farm.  There will also be a red flag in the field that indicates the snap pea patch.  At the distribution area we will have green pint baskets for you to use while harvesting snap peas.  Please return when you are done using them.

Map for Blueberry & Snap Pea Season
If you have any questions contact Taryn by phone: 717-871-3110 or email: 

Whats been happening on the farm?
This past week we have been extremely busy transplanting many different crops.  During the first day of summer your farmers were transplanting watermelons, flowers, herbs, and PYO veggies.  It was a great way to start off the summer by getting the summer crops in the fields.  We also had a rain storm in the evening which will make the summer crops very happy plants!

This picture is an example of what transplanting looks like.  This photo was taken last year and we are planting eggplant instead.

We also put a shade cloth over our greenhouse that is next to the driveway. When you drive down the driveway you will see a black netting over the greenhouse which is our shade cloth.  It only lets through a certain amount of sun light which cools down the whole greenhouse.  This is done for the fall crops that are being seeded in that greenhouse. Those fall crops do not like germinating or growing in warm temperatures.

Homefields Event - Children's Storytelling
Saturday, June 24 - 9:30 & 10:30am - Happening on the Farm

Join children’s book author and illustrator Katrina Morse and hear her read “At Home with Books” and “It Began with a Song”.

Bring a blanket, chair, or just sit in the grass and enjoy these 2 charming stories, stretch your imagination to think of new story endings, make the sounds and motions of storybook characters, and learn the “Meadow Song and Dance.” Fun for the whole family and especially suited to children age 6 and under.

Suggested donation of $5 per child. Each time slot will be the same program. Books will be for sale (cash or check only) and Katrina will be available to sign books.

Homefields - Recruiting
Homefields is seeking volunteer board and committee members to help grow the mission and manage projects.  Opportunities to serve include ongoing roles, like board membership; or project oriented roles, like committee work or event staffing. Contact 

Homefields sponsors an annual fundraising event called "Picnic in the Fields."  This years' event will be held on Sunday, September 24th at Homefields.  We need volunteers to help with set up, event staffing and break down.  Service opportunities range from 3 hours to all day (10 hours).  Drinks and food included.  It's a fun day and a great way to give back to the farm.  Contact: 

2017 Season Sign Ups!!!
There is still room for you!  Just sign up by following this link:

Abendessen Bread
Chocolate Chip & Cinnamon Sourdough - A Tasty Treat! - $5 a loaf

Harvest List
Snap Peas - storage: keep in plastic bag in refrigerator 
Garlic Snap Pea Recipe
Ingredients: 2 cups snap peas, 2 tsp. vegetable oil, 1/8 tsp. salt, pinch black pepper, 2 cloves of garlic minced (just use your garlic scapes instead!)
Directions: cut off tips on snap peas, preheat oil on medium/high heat. Sautee peas with salt and pepper for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes tossing often until beans are cooked an crispy. Add minced garlic toss a bit and then pour out onto serving pan.  Don't cook too long because garlic can become bitter. No longer then 10 seconds.

Lettuce - storage: if in a plastic bag make sure you poke holes throughout the bag and keep in the hydrator drawer of your refrigerator.  Or invest in a Produce Keeper that can be found on Amazon, they work very well.  
How to use Lettuce
Create a fun and delicious salad with the produce that comes from the farm!  Use your lettuce greens and kale for the base of the salad by chopping them up into bite size pieces and removing stems/tough parts.  Slice up turnips and radishes into small pieces for a tasty addition.  If you want a sweet addition add snap peas or blueberries to your greens.  Could add some Dill or Cilantro for an herb.  Maybe add some goat cheese or your favorite nut to the salad.
Note: have fun and make it your own! 
Recipe from: Your Imagination!

Kale - storage: same as lettuce
Kale Recipe: Baked Kale Chips
Ingredients: 1 large bunch of kale, 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 tsp. sea salt, freshly ground pepper
Directions: preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove stems of kale. Place in bowl, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and massage into leaves. Add pepper to taste and spread kale out in single layer on baking sheets. Place in oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until kale is dry and crispy and barely browned on edges.
Recipe from: "Eat Clean Live Well" By: Terry Walters

Broccoli - storage: best used in a couple of days. Store unwashed in perforated plastic bag in drawer of refrigerator, it will keep for 2-3 days. For long term storage, broccoli freezes well.
Broccoli Recipe: Broccoli Marinade
Ingredients: 1 cup cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp. sugar, 1 Tbsp. dill, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil, black pepper to taste, 1 broccoli head, trimmed into pieces.
Directions: combine all ingredients and refrigerate 1 hour.

Radishes - storage: keep in refrigerator wrapped in plastic bag or damp towel. Keep greens separate and stored like lettuce.  
Radish Recipe: Pretty in Pink Radishes
Ingredients: 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced, 2 2inch sprigs of fresh dill, 6 peppercorns, pinch of red pepper flakes, radishes, 1 1/2 tsp. plus 1 tsp. of sea salt, 1 cup of water
Need: 1 pint size canning jar with lid, cheese cloth, rubber bands
Directions: put garlic, dill, peppercorns, and pepper flakes in canning jar. Slice radishes into 1/4inch rounds. Make jar 2/3 full. In separate bowl make Brine by combining salt and water and stirring until salt is dissolved. Pour brine in jar until radishes are covered. Leave space at top. Place weight in mouth of jar to hold radishes down so they're submerged. Cover with cheese cloth, secure with rubber bands. Check radishes daily. If brine evaporates and exposes radishes add more brine. Radishes will be lightly pickeled in 24hrs and will become more sour the longer they ferment. When taste is desired, cover and refrigerate to slow fermentation. Recommendation: refrigerate radishes after about 7-10 days of fermentation.
Recipe from: "Eat Clean Live Well" By: Terry Walters

Turnips - storage: same as radishes
How to use Turnips
Leave the skins on for maximum nutrition. Mix with other root vegetables for roasting, or substitute one turnip for one potato in soup recipes. Try the white turnip raw, or dipped in your favorite veggie dip. Turnip greens can be cooked the same way you would use arugula, chard or spinach.

Garlic Scapes - storage: keep in a plastic bag in refrigerator
Garlic Scape Pesto - Vegan Style 
Ingredients: 8 garlic scapes coarsely chopped, 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup pine nuts, 1 tsp. lemon zest, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. sea salt. 
Directions: place chopped scapes in food processor and pulse to mince. Add all other pesto ingredients and process until consistent and smooth. Serve or store in airtight container in refrigerator or freezer.
Additional Comment: freeze a batch of this pesto for the middle of winter!
Recipe from: "Eat Clean Live Well" By: Terry Walters

Cilantro - storage: same as lettuce
{Check out our garlic pesto recipe that has cilantro! (above)}
How to use Cilantro
Is an essential ingredient in Mexican and Asian cooking. Use in salsa, Pad Thai, and peanut sauce. Can be put into salads, sandwiches, soups, and pestos to add some extra flavor.  

Dill - storage: same as lettuce
{can also be used in broccoli recipe & radishes recipe}
Dill Recipe: Garlic and Dill Muffins
Ingredients: 1 cup cake flour, 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 Tbsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, 1 Tbsp. minced fresh dill, 4 cloves garlic minced (just use scapes), 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream, 3 egg whites, 1 1/2 cup nonfat milk, 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese.
 Directions: Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Fill 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Mix flours, baking powder, salt and pepper together; stir in dill and garlic. Whisk sour cream, egg whites, and milk together, and stir into dry ingredients just till dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full of batter. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 12 servings.

- Most of the storage ideas were found in our Goodwill at Homefields Farm "A Mostly Vegetarian Cookbook".  Which can be found at our sign in desk at the distribution center.

Below are the products that you can buy from another location but pick up at our location once the season starts.  Take a look they are great products from local businesses!

North Star Orchard Fruit Share - Must be signed up by 7/1!
Would you like to pick up a CSA Fruit Share when you come to get your CSA vegetables? It’s time to sign up now with North Star Orchard for their weekly Fruit Share, which is available for pickup for 15 weeks starting in August.
CSA Members have been enjoying the Fruit Share for years, and we encourage you to take a look at what the share has to offer here.
This is not ordinary fruit, but unique and heritage varieties which are full of flavor: plums with pizazz, perfect peaches, amazing Asian pears, great (seedless) grapes, astounding apples, and a sprinkling of heritage pear varieties.
Sign up directly with North Star on their website (link again to ), or if you need to reach them directly, email
And for a quick view of North Star Orchard itself, enjoy this 90-second bird's eye view (link to: )

Hillacres Pride Cheese Share
Goodwill at Homefields farm will be a pickup location for Hillacres Pride Cheese share once again for the 2017 Season.  
The share will usually start with the first pick-up at your veggie share location and run every other week for 11 pickups, which usually encompasses June-Oct. A share contains 2 cheese items with each delivery.
They will range from cheddars and colbys to artisan cheeses, such as our Susquehanna and Cave Aged Arcadia; to fresh cheeses like ricotta and our signature flavored fresh cheeses.  It is always fun for us to select the share items and we hear it is a fun surprise for the customers. We offer a bit of information about the cheeses and are hoping to incorporate recipes this year as well.
11 bi-weekly deliveries $125.00
Signup by following this link:

Village Crest Farm Mushroom Share
Village Crest Farm is a fourth-generation family farm near Strasburg that grows a variety of gourmet mushrooms for fine restaurants and your table, using chemical-free practices.  We are pleased to announce that Goodwill at Homefields Farm will be a pick up site for the Village Crest Farm mushroom share during their regular vegetable share season.
Offerings: Choose either 12 or 24 weeks of delicious seasonal mushrooms. We grow a beautiful variety of oyster mushrooms including elm, golden, brown, blue, and pink oysters rotating from week to week depending on season and temperature. Other species such as lion's mane and chestnut mushrooms may make guest appearances during the season as we continue to develop new varieties.
June through November (24 week) share = 1 lb fresh gourmet mushrooms weekly - $360
June through August (12 week) share = 1 lb fresh gourmet mushrooms weekly - $180
To reserve your mushroom share, please contact:
Scott Breneman
Coffee Share
Do you enjoy whole bean coffee?  Do you purchase the coffee at a specialty coffee shop?  Or maybe the local grocery store?  One has fresh coffee, the other an affordable price.  Want to have both?  College Coffee Roasters has partnered with Homefields to create a coffee share.  College Coffee Roasters offers 6 Fair Trade Organic (FTO) coffees.  A different coffee will be available each week for 6 weeks, by the 1/2 lb.  
Cost of the share will be $36  
In order to start, we'll need to know if you are interested.  If you wish to purchase a share, please make the check payable to Homefields and have it sent to: Homefields Inc., 150 Letort Road, Millersville, PA 17551.  Also make note on the check that it is for the coffee share.
The funds generated by the share will help fund projects at the Farm.
If you have questions please contact Bruce at: 717-278-0839

Happy Blueberry Season,

Your Farmers

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